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The heART of Ritual


Blúiríní Béaloidis 10 - The Cow In Folk Tradition

Cattle have been central to Irish farming since the Neolithic period, and in early Ireland were even used as a unit of currency. In this month's edition of Blúiríní Béaloidis, hosts Jonny Dillon and Claire Doohan explore material relating to the cow in tradition; from native breeds which were hailed by Sir William Wilde as resembling 'in the most remarkable manner, the ox-heads carved upon the friezes of Grecian temples', to the mythical cattle of the Glas Gaibhneach, and the goddess Bóinn - figures representative of fertility, abundance and plenty, who place the Irish material regarding cattle in the context of the broader European (and Indo-European) tradition.

From the Hindu Govinda to the Norse Auðumbla, and from Inis Bó Finne (Island of the Bright Cow) to Dublin's Cluain Tarbh (Meadow of the Bull), cattle have left their imprint on a landscape both physical and metaphysical that stretches from Ireland to India. Join us then as we give praise to that great 'rejuvenator of the world', the humble cow!


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